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Kim Dotcom Offers the DoJ a Deal

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the bearding-the-lion-in-his-den dept.

Piracy 383

Master Moose sends this quote from Stuff.co.nz: "Kim Dotcom claims the United States criminal case against him is collapsing but he is offering to go there without extradition provided federal authorities unfreeze his millions of dollars. In a now hallmark style, he made the offer on Twitter. 'Hey DOJ, we will go to the US,' he tweeted, 'No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers & living expenses.' In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Dotcom says the department knows it does not have a case. 'If they are forced to provide discovery, then there will be no extradition. That's why they don't want to provide discovery. If they had a case, they would not need to hide what they have.'"

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This case is a joke. (5, Insightful)

Wakko Warner (324) | about 2 years ago | (#40609111)

The US should cut its losses, give the dude his servers and money back, and go after some actual criminals. This is just pathetic.

Re:This case is a joke. (5, Insightful)

linatux (63153) | about 2 years ago | (#40609155)

I think they should also repay what this has cost the NZ taxpayers.

Re:This case is a joke. (5, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | about 2 years ago | (#40609293)

I think they should pay the host for the expenses of keeping the data for the period that they've frozen Kim Dotcom's accounts.

As such, I believe they're just stalling for time so that the host and/or Kim himself (and any other of his associates) goes bankrupt.

Re:This case is a joke. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609501)

Psst. Guess what? Kim is a girl's name.

Re:This case is a joke. (2)

Angeret (1134311) | about 2 years ago | (#40609545)

Psst. Guess what? I know of a certain Lensman who would take offense to that statement. And Rudyard Kipling isn't amused with you either :)

Re:This case is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609659)

Psst. Guess what? Kim is a boy's name! .. or, wait, it's region and culture dependent!

Re:This case is a joke. (5, Funny)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about 2 years ago | (#40609741)

The dude's name is "Kim Dotcom" and you're focused on the "Kim" part?

Re:This case is a joke. (5, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | about 2 years ago | (#40609793)

The US seized his TLD. Now hes just Kim

Re:This case is a joke. (3, Informative)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#40609759)

It is only 1.5 times more common for Kim to female than male, according to gpeters. So if you take hundred Kims, 40 of them are male.

Re:This case is a joke. (3, Funny)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#40609809)

But Kim ain't a girl! (Firefly)

Re:This case is a joke. (1, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 2 years ago | (#40609211)

The service was shut down in January when authorities in New Zealand raided Dotcom's $24 million compound in Coatesville, a small town not far from Auckland.

So basically, this guy bought a $24 million house by selling ad space and premium accounts to media that he neither made, nor owned, nor invested in, nor had a legal right (as dubious as those may be) to distribute? I get that you can't stop people from sharing, but anyone can see the negative repercussions of people making millions of dollars off of the transaction, when he is neither the sharer, the viewer, nor the author. He's a middleman and this money was ill-gotten; he's happy to play the victim to you guys but it's not about your right to copy, not remotely. It's about his right to make money off copying.

It's really no different than someone pulling code from the Linux kernel and using it in a closed-source commercial product: the author has rights, and the distributor violated those rights because it was profitable.

(And yes I know Megaupload had legitimate uses, if you think that's why it managed to cleared over $100 million in ad and subscription fees in its lifetime from legitimate, author-sourced file distro, you're hopelessly naive.)

Re:This case is a joke. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609241)

Next up, youtube...

Re:This case is a joke. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609633)

Sure, YouTube was the Napster protection scam except with video. "Psst. Pay us money and we'll stop our users from ripping you off."

Of course, the key difference is that YouTube was financed by top silicon valley VC and purchased by blue-chip "Do No Evil" Google, so they got away with it. If Youtube was run by 'Kim Dotcom' and the 'Mega-Conspiracy', it's kneecaps would have been taken-out just like Napster's were.

Re:This case is a joke. (2)

dankasak (2393356) | about 2 years ago | (#40609271)

I agree with a lot of what you're saying ... however ... his service wasn't *necessarily* for illegal copying. Sure, that's what it was mostly used for. But it's a pretty slippery slope when you expect service providers to actively prevent copyright infringement.

Re:This case is a joke. (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#40609713)

Actively prevent, no.. but the allegations seem to be that he outright encouraged ..

Whether thats true is not something I can even make a guess at. If it is true than I agree a wrong has been done. How that wrong is defined legally (or whether it is) is again, way over my head..

Re:This case is a joke. (5, Insightful)

ColaMan (37550) | about 2 years ago | (#40609277)

when he is neither the sharer, the viewer, nor the author.

He's the "fixer". He gets you what you want, because he knows someone who has it and can arrange delivery without fuss and bother on your part.This is a perfectly legit role to have in the scheme of things.

Re:This case is a joke. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609341)

He's the "fixer". He gets you what you want, because he knows someone who has it and can arrange delivery without fuss and bother on your part.This is a perfectly legit role to have in the scheme of things.

Aiding and abetting theft is not a legit role. Kim Dotdouche facilitated criminal activity, and he got what he deserved.

Re:This case is a joke. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609457)

Aiding and abetting theft is not a legit role.

No, but that's not what he did either, so what's your point?

Re:This case is a joke. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609685)

1. Copyright infringement is not theft.

2. He facilitates criminal activity the same way as power companies and isp facilitate criminal activity. It's just easier to pin on him.

Re:This case is a joke. (2)

Yoda222 (943886) | about 2 years ago | (#40609783)

Where do we stop ? Intel (or an other microprocessor designer) facilitated Kim Dotcom activity, which facilitated criminal activity. Do we takes also everything from Intel ?

Re:This case is a joke. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 2 years ago | (#40609837)

Idiot. It's not theft. Cary Sherman? Is that you hiding as an AC?

Re:This case is a joke. (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40609355)

Not when it's deemed by a court to violate some law somewhere.

Re:This case is a joke. (2)

pipedwho (1174327) | about 2 years ago | (#40609479)

So true. Especially all those laws in random countries around the world that taken together would forbid pretty anything you'd ever want to do. Quick, we must declare worldwide martial law.

Oh, wait. Maybe the role of a disinterested courier actually is legitimate.

Re:This case is a joke. (2)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40609541)

You also have to read the indictment (and some decent legal analysis). The case hinges around private correspondence from the Megaupload guys in which they incriminate themselves by specifically organizing to make copyrighted works available. They are hardly disinterested couriers.

Re:This case is a joke. (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 2 years ago | (#40609409)

I won't get into the legalities, but I don't think a "fixer" is entitled to 100% of the profit.

Re:This case is a joke. (4, Interesting)

bjourne (1034822) | about 2 years ago | (#40609617)

In my days those "fixers" were known as Fairlight and Razor 1911 among others. They were seen as living gods and provided thousands of "fixed" games. None of them got rich on it but did it for fun and fame. The readme files even encouraged you to buy the games they ripped if you liked them.

Re:This case is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609747)

In my days those "fixers" were known as Fairlight and Razor 1911 among others.

And after starting Fairlight, Strider went into politics. [rawstory.com]

Re:This case is a joke. (2)

f3rret (1776822) | about 2 years ago | (#40609815)

In my days those "fixers" were known as Fairlight and Razor 1911 among others. They were seen as living gods and provided thousands of "fixed" games. None of them got rich on it but did it for fun and fame. The readme files even encouraged you to buy the games they ripped if you liked them.

Razor1911 are still around and they are still awesome, they still probably aren't rich either.
Fairlight pretty much WERE razor as I understand it.

Re:This case is a joke. (0)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#40609853)

He gets you what you want, because he knows someone who has it and can arrange delivery

You just described a pimp.

Re:This case is a joke. (4, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#40609301)

The service was shut down in January when authorities in New Zealand raided Dotcom's $24 million compound in Coatesville, a small town not far from Auckland.

So basically, this guy bought a $24 million house by selling ad space and premium accounts to media that he neither made, nor owned, nor invested in, nor had a legal right (as dubious as those may be) to distribute? I get that you can't stop people from sharing, but anyone can see the negative repercussions of people making millions of dollars off of the transaction, when he is neither the sharer, the viewer, nor the author. He's a middleman and this money was ill-gotten; he's happy to play the victim to you guys but it's not about your right to copy, not remotely. It's about his right to make money off copying.

Yeah this has to be stopped. Not be prosecuting and harassing Kim Dotcom (which would do nothing other than turn him into a hero), but by providing legal means of getting media when needed. This is about MAFIAA getting its revenge, not about justice, or about preventing file sharing.

It's really no different than someone pulling code from the Linux kernel and using it in a closed-source commercial product: the author has rights, and the distributor violated those rights because it was profitable.

How often does that happen? And does the linux community use a scorch earth policy to prevent linux code from being used elsewhere? I doubt that.

(And yes I know Megaupload had legitimate uses, if you think that's why it managed to cleared over $100 million in ad and subscription fees in its lifetime from legitimate, author-sourced file distro, you're hopelessly naive.)

Er, he made money from legitimate filesharing. There is a difference if you think about it.

Re:This case is a joke. (1, Informative)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40609371)

Read the indictment. The gov't claims to have evidence that he did in fact know about infringing works and actively worked to keep these works available. Thatis against the law -- even the DMCA.

Re:This case is a joke. (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#40609451)

No, what is claimed is that he did not take down files that have the hashcheck as the reported file. The reported file was taken down, or else the shitstorm would have started much earlier. The govt also has some some evidence of emails where the employees mentioned some specific file and movie names in the email, and the govt claims the employees knew that this violated copyright. I seriously doubt they can prove this claim, as the employees couldnt have known if the uploader really did get the permission of the copyright holder.

Re:This case is a joke. (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#40609689)

Sorry for the self response. But I wish I could take that post back. It seems there is a lot more references in the emails to copyrighted content. I still am not convinced it is sufficient to convict them, but they really are as stupid as some posts make them to be.

Re:This case is a joke. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609303)

Fascinating. He sounds like a Wall street trader, but a bit more honest.
All kidding aside, is he really any different? How could he possibly monitor
each and every account? Each and every file. The number of files, etc.
stagger me.

He wasn't the middle-man - he's the manufacturer. Just like gun manufacturers;
so blame them for all of the shootings and murders. You can't possible say that
gun manufactures don't know that their product will be used to end someone's life.

Ill that DotCom may have done comes no where near that, IMHO.

CAPTCHA = hooper

Re:This case is a joke. (1, Informative)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40609375)

Read the indictment. It claims he did know and that his emails prove he know and that he actively worked to make copyrighted works available.

Re:This case is a joke. (3, Interesting)

10101001 10101001 (732688) | about 2 years ago | (#40609699)

Yes, let's see some of the damning evidence (fromArstechnica

For example, in 2007, one of the Megaupload employees sent an e-mail to his peers about users who had received payments. He described one of the uploaders, who got a $100 payment, as "Our old famous number one on MU, still some illegal files but I think he deserves a payment." Another user who got a $300 check was described as having "30849 files, mainly Mp3z, some copyrighted but most of them have a very small number of downloads per file." In another 2007 e-mail, a Megaupload employee wrote that some of the uploaders receiving payments "had very obvious copyrighted files in their account portfolio, but I was rather flexible."

Hmm.. Sounds to me like the employees are saying that most the content is legitimate and hence their (admittedly pitiful compared to what Megaupload itself raked in) payment should still be given. Now, the fact that they were not preemptively taking down content? Well, that seems to only really be an issue because they were stupid enough to look in the first place. I mean, consider Google's relationship with Youtube users. I don't doubt that Google is aware that their users are uploading content and the people with the most views are more likely to have such content. But, they presumably have policy to not actually check, to remain in the legal clear--and this seems rather stupid to me, given it's just another form of willful ignorance to counter the absurd fruit-of-the-poison-tree-like expectations against found pirates/piracy. Having said that, it doesn't sound like actively working up to this point. Until...

In a 2008 incident, a user e-mailed Megaupload and wrote "I've been trying to watch Dexter episodes, but... the sound doesn't match up with the visual." Dotcom forwarded this e-mail to a subordinate, adding "...on many forums people complain that our video / sound are not in sync... We need to solve this asap!" Dexter, of course, is a popular, copyrighted television show.

And this is the damning part of it. Up until this, it could be claimed to be negligence or willful ignorance (as it sounds like employees were merely making educated guesses, not legal deductions, about content) which at least possibly could be legally excused. This just makes it sound like Megaupload was specifically working with pirates to pirate a show. And as much as Dotcom might have wanted it (as much as I presume Youtube's founders did until enough user content was added to usurp it) to attract enough users to form a community (as piracy/porn could be said to be the seeds of many nascent technologies/systems), this seems to go well beyond that into the realm of trying to make Megaupload *the* pirate system.

Of course, in the end, it'll probably take a bit more context to be actually sure that this isn't just twisting of an email. I mean, perhaps the complaint is merely that Megaupload was having fidelity issues with any video being copied to its service? That doesn't seem likely (AFAIK, there was no reencoding like Youtube), but perhaps there's another interpretation/explanation? I seriously don't see it, though.

Re:This case is a joke. (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40609733)

What *might* happen if it goes to trial is that the prosecution might only be able to prove his complicity in a handful of situations -- and, given his wealth, he could certainly afford any associated fines. That is a distinct possibility.

Re:This case is a joke. (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40609321)

So? What about people selling CD burners? VHS recorders?

Kim Dotcom simply provided a service that could be used both "legally" and "illegally" and being a good provider of a service made money. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, the people suing him (US department of "justice") obtained their vast wealth through theft of property, and fraud.

Re:This case is a joke. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609839)

CD burners and VHS decks have, in legalese, "substantial non-infringing uses [slashdot.org] ". Let's see anyone try to claim that for Megaupload with a straight face. LOL

Re:This case is a joke. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609849)

Taxes still aren't theft mate.

Re:This case is a joke. (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 2 years ago | (#40609335)

So basically, this guy bought a $24 million house by selling ad space and premium accounts to media that he neither made, nor owned, nor invested in, nor had a legal right (as dubious as those may be) to distribute? I get that you can't stop people from sharing, but anyone can see the negative repercussions of people making millions of dollars off of the transaction, when he is neither the sharer, the viewer, nor the author. He's a middleman and this money was ill-gotten; he's happy to play the victim to you guys but it's not about your right to copy, not remotely. It's about his right to make money off copying.

ISPs act as a "middleman" and profit off of IP theft all the time, making "millions of dollars off of the transaction, when [they are] neither the sharer, the viewer, nor the author."

Yet I don't see the government putting the CEO of AT&T or Comcast on trial. Why is Megaupload any different?

Re:This case is a joke. (2)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40609411)

Because AT&T and Comcast actually pay money to companies when they host their copyrighted content. The cable companies and the content companies have a licensing arrangement. Megaupload has no such agreement and, according to the indictment, its employees actively worked to make copyrighted works freely available to people knowing full well they neither uploaded the file themself and knowing full well that the content creators did not want the content up there. You need to inform yourself about the case before spouting off.

Just out of curiosity, do support Matt Inman who writes the Oatmeal or funnyfunk.com which freeloaded off his comic strip and then tried to sue him for calling them out for it?

Re:This case is a joke. (2)

yodleboy (982200) | about 2 years ago | (#40609505)

i'm guessing you missed his point, he's not talking about the media/tv services of ATT or Comcast, but the internet service. ISP's are fully aware that the service they provide is used by many customers to obtain copyrighted content illegally. They choose to look the other way and make their profit. If they are the gateway between me and the file I want they are effectively a middleman. At least until the feds decide that files that don't come from an approved source is illegal and try to force ISP's to turn the internet into a walled garden ala Apple.

Re:This case is a joke. (3, Insightful)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40609583)

I think you missed my point. AT&T and Comcast pay appropriate fees to content providers when they host files for consumer download. These other companies that host the copyrighted material do not. When some guy owns a warehouse that is selling stolen goods, you don't arrest the person who built the road. Likewise, if I own a storage warehouse, you don't arrest me when my customer with locker number #12345 has stolen goods in his locker.

The megaupload case hinges on the incriminating private correspondence of megaupload employees scheming to make copyrighted works available. Read the indictment.

Re:This case is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609347)

How is it different from a real estate agent who neither built nor designed the house? They're a lower form of parasite, granted, but of the same species.

Re:This case is a joke. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40609357)

He didn't buy it, he's renting it.

Re:This case is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609361)

So basically, this guy bought a $24 million house by selling ad space and premium accounts

Yes, he made money from ads and premium accounts. The content doesn't matter, because that's not what was being sold.

I guess no one can have ads on any website because some content might not "belong" to them.

Re:This case is a joke. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609369)

So basically, this guy bought a $24 million house by selling ad space and premium accounts to media that he neither made, nor owned, nor invested in, nor had a legal right (as dubious as those may be) to distribute?

And yet we're more willing to support him than the companies currently "creating" said media What does that say about them?

Re:This case is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609513)

There is a bigger problem here. IT folks (including developers of songs, videos, etc.) agree that software has zero re-manufacture and distribution cost as a built-in feature set and you cannot turn off those features. An example of this problem is creating a license agreement on a car that can only be used to go to office, by the single owner who bought it and then suing someone because they went to the grocery store with it or their partner drove it. The funny part is the gas station reports the violation of your car terms. Hence it will be very difficult to change society's approach to software, especially those growing up with the barter system.

Re:This case is a joke. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609609)

I think it managed to clear that much money because of crime.

I don't believe for a second that ad views on that site are worth that. I think money is being laundered.

Re:This case is a joke. (2)

strikethree (811449) | about 2 years ago | (#40609635)

He's a middleman and this money was ill-gotten

My gut feeling is the same as yours... but PROVE that is what he did.

For myself, I have NEVER used his services or any similar services for copyright infringement. How did people find the copyrighted material there? All the URLs that I saw were encoded and showed no interesting information. No megaupload results were ever returned in ANY of my searches... at least not on any the pages of results that I viewed.

So seriously, is this man to be convicted on gut feelings? Where is the justice in that? Let's see proof.

Re:This case is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609653)

If I run a power company providing electricity to users who pirate, and some who don't, buy $24 million dollars house am I making money off copying?
If I run a hard-drive manufacturing company selling to users who pirate, and some who don't, buy $24 million dollars house am I making money off copying?

This is the EXACT same logic.

Whether you approve of what he does is irrelevant to the the legality of the thing he does.

Re:This case is a joke. (2)

ageedoy (961786) | about 2 years ago | (#40609749)

If I'm not mistaken, Kimble had a lot of money even before MegaUpload. I remember visiting his site back in the early 200s (bigkimble.com) and he had tons of pictures of his expensive cars and yachts with supermodels.

Re:This case is a joke. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609817)

God damn why does a moralfag always have to open his fucking mouth?!?

Your opinion is a joke (2, Informative)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40609331)

Are you making that claim based on legal knowledge of the case or are you just talking out your ass? As I have read [nytimes.com] , the case is based on private emails of the indicted:

It quotes extensively from correspondence among the defendants, who work for Megaupload and its related sites. The correspondence, the indictment says, shows that the operators knew the site contained unauthorized content.

The indictment cites an e-mail from last February, for example, in which three members of the group discussed an article about how to stop the government from seizing domain names.

The Megaupload case is unusual, said Orin S. Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University, in that federal prosecutors obtained the private e-mails of Megaupload’s operators in an effort to show they were operating in bad faith.

“The government hopes to use their private words against them,” Mr. Kerr said. “This should scare the owners and operators of similar sites.”

And it hinges not on the evidence seized at the arrest in NZ but apparently on emails detailing the deliberate actions of the site's proprietors to make copyrighted content widely available not just to the customers who uploaded these files, but to any visitors to the site. If you read some discussion of real legal analysis [arstechnica.com] , things don't look so rosy for fat old K. Dotcom.

As for the customers getting their files back, that's a different issue. It should be legal for me to store my music in the cloud.

I hope fat old K. Dotcom chokes on his bratwurst.

Re:Your opinion is a joke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609419)

Are you making that claim based on legal knowledge of the case or are you just talking out your ass? As I have read [nytimes.com] , the case is based on private emails of the indicted:

It quotes extensively from correspondence among the defendants, who work for Megaupload and its related sites. The correspondence, the indictment says, shows that the operators knew the site contained unauthorized content.

The indictment cites an e-mail from last February, for example, in which three members of the group discussed an article about how to stop the government from seizing domain names.

The Megaupload case is unusual, said Orin S. Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University, in that federal prosecutors obtained the private e-mails of Megaupload’s operators in an effort to show they were operating in bad faith.

“The government hopes to use their private words against them,” Mr. Kerr said. “This should scare the owners and operators of similar sites.”

And it hinges not on the evidence seized at the arrest in NZ but apparently on emails detailing the deliberate actions of the site's proprietors to make copyrighted content widely available not just to the customers who uploaded these files, but to any visitors to the site. If you read some discussion of real legal analysis [arstechnica.com] , things don't look so rosy for fat old K. Dotcom.

As for the customers getting their files back, that's a different issue. It should be legal for me to store my music in the cloud.

I hope fat old K. Dotcom chokes on his bratwurst.

You don't like him because he's overweight?

Re:Your opinion is a joke (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40609429)

The seizures of servers were not for evidence, but for punishment. Punitive seizures is one of the reasons the Constitution required proper warrants. The US no longer follows its own laws (Constitution), but requires everyone else follow its laws.

And there's nothing to say that it couldn't be spun that they knew the US was unreasonable (as proven so far in this case) and they knew they had *some* infringing material, so they looked into prudent defensive measures. What they *should* have done is to use a lawyer as a remailer service to discuss everything, then even if the emails are seized, they could not be used. A few emails out of context indicating they knew infringing material was shared on the Internet doesn't prove they created the service for the purpose of infringing or anything else that *might* be illegal in the US (and almost nowhere else). He didn't publish or distribute anything. It's akin to suing the makers of trash cans for terrorism if a terrorist puts a bomb in them, as that's a known attack vector and they still make trash cans for profit that could be used against the US.

Re:Your opinion is a joke (5, Interesting)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40609507)

You should read the arstechnica article Iinked. It offers a different slant that you might find informative (and much more legally sound than our armchair opinions):

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/01/legal-experts-say-megaupload-faces-long-odds/ [arstechnica.com]

Re:Your opinion is a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609467)

Wow, butthurt much? What did Kim Dotcom personally do to you to warrant such ire?

Re:Your opinion is a joke (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#40609553)

If you read some discussion of real legal analysis, things don't look so rosy for fat old K. Dotcom.

Analysis that is based on snippets of emails included in the indictment and we know that the FBI would never use those snippets out of context or misrepresent the meaning or import of the reported email snippets, don't we?

[if you think that the FBI would not use snippets out of context in order to make a case, then I have a bridge to sell you]

Re:Your opinion is a joke (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40609655)

It is certainly true that legal wrangling can rule out all kinds of potentially damning "evidence" for various reasons. That's hardly a reason to call the case a joke. Those emails may yet stand up in court. That arstechnica article I linked certainly suggests the case has legs.

Re:Your opinion is a joke (3, Insightful)

strikethree (811449) | about 2 years ago | (#40609691)

Did you read the emails in question? If not, why do you believe the characterizations of the emails made by people who intend to prosecute him?

Assuming the characterizations are accurate, were any of them written by the owner? Do they mention him in such as a way as to indicate that he knew what this "group of people" who worked for him knew? Why aren't the people who actually wrote the emails being charged?

From my point of view, it looks like he is probably guilty. He needs to convicted on proof though, not on what it looks like. Are we really going to convict this guy before he has his day in court? If he gets out of having to face his day in court, it is only due to incompetence on the part of the people prosecuting the supposed crime.

Re:Your opinion is a joke (0)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40609763)

As I understand it, K.D. (I call him Herr Fatass) is one of seven that were indicted so they are in fact prosecuting other people. What they will likely do is try to get the little fish to rat on the big (fat) fish. Typical machiavellian legal stuff. And, yes, we certainly can't just convict him with our opinions. Hopefully the stupid legal actions of law enforcement don't jeopardize the case (a distinct possibility I reckon). The case means a lot as it at least begins to define the boundaries of legal file sharing versus illegal file sharing. I'd love to see a trial happen.

Re:Your opinion is a joke (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about 2 years ago | (#40609827)

Hopefully the stupid legal actions of law enforcement don't jeopardize the case

I believe the most idiotic legal action of them all was going after someone for this in the first place. A colossal waste of taxpayer money, I think.

Re:This case is a joke. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#40609679)

and go after some actual criminals

Hey, now, threatening the corporate profits [slashgear.com] of campaign donors is a crime these days.

What is this talk of 'case'? (2)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about 2 years ago | (#40609143)

Once he's over there, they'll keep him.

Re:What is this talk of 'case'? (2)

Master Moose (1243274) | about 2 years ago | (#40609203)

This is what I was thinking. Even if the current case falls over, would they not try to book him on something else?

Whilst in New Zealand, the US DoJ needs a larger stick to touch him. Entering the Lions den surely has the potential to put him at a larger disadvantage than he is in now?

Re:What is this talk of 'case'? (1)

Pool_Noodle (1373373) | about 2 years ago | (#40609385)

Should the Megauploads Case fall flat (which if MPAA and RIAA were to assist would be certain), then its a guarantee that the DoJ would find something else to hammer him on. Take the case of Al Capone, the Fed couldn't get him on actual charges that he did commit, so they got him on Tax Evasion. Same concept here, DoJ will miss the mark on Piracy, but they'll get him on something else, and the MPAA and RIAA will dance around like fools screaming their ignorant heads off about how *They* helped bring down one of the greatest threats ... etc ... etc ... etc ... Ad Nauseum.
(My 2 Cents)

Re:What is this talk of 'case'? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609487)

Take the case of Al Capone, the Fed couldn't get him on actual charges that he did commit, so they got him on Tax Evasion.

I'm pretty sure Capone actually did commit tax evasion, though, so that's a poor example.

Re:What is this talk of 'case'? (1)

detritus. (46421) | about 2 years ago | (#40609481)

Yup,
News Flash: Al Qaeda documents found on Kim Dotcom's server hard drives. Dotcom's whereabouts are unknown and has not been in contact with his lawyers or family members for several weeks. The US has no comment.

Re:What is this talk of 'case'? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609235)

Once he's over there, they'll keep him.

God I hope not. We already have more than our fair share of douche bags in this country.

What country's holding Dotcom's funds? (0)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | about 2 years ago | (#40609151)

I'm only following his case through this fine forum. So I'm curious, does King Dotcom have all his funds stashed away in some US bank? Or does the US have the ability to put a hold order on money stoned in another country?

Re:What country's holding Dotcom's funds? (0)

rhook (943951) | about 2 years ago | (#40609173)

Have you been living under a rock since 9/11?

Re:What country's holding Dotcom's funds? (1)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | about 2 years ago | (#40609377)

I've not been arrested for terrorism, so I don't know. Seriously, I've always thought that funds are frozen only for people alleged to have committed serious shit like blowing up buildings or selling large quantities of hallucinogens.

Re:What country's holding Dotcom's funds? (1)

rhook (943951) | about 2 years ago | (#40609407)

After 9/11 it was all over the media when the US Government extended its reach concerning financial institutions. They were freezing accounts "suspected" of being tied to terrorism all over the world.

Re:What country's holding Dotcom's funds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609471)

Have you been living under a rock since 9/11?

What happened in September 2011?

Re:What country's holding Dotcom's funds? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609187)

They were able to freeze his accounts all over the place, including his home country.

Re:What country's holding Dotcom's funds? (1)

djlowe (41723) | about 2 years ago | (#40609223)

Or does the US have the ability to put a hold order on money stoned in another country?

Yes, not only does the RIAA/MPAA have the ability to extend their influence overseas via the US Federal Government, so does the DEA: Stoned money in other countries is *definitely* under its jurisdiction, obviously it became stoned via illegal drugs!

Irreverently yours,

dj

Re:What country's holding Dotcom's funds? (1)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | about 2 years ago | (#40609523)

Who knows, maybe heavyweight Dotcom's money is "stored" in stone. What worries me is what determines jurisdiction when mere accusation can put criminal suspects in the court system of another country? Personally, I'd prefer if the trials are done in the country where they live, even those accused of trading in illegal drugs. (Proof of possible guilt appears to be lighter in extradition cases.) I'd probably make an exception for war criminals and terrorists. The ideal solution would be for them to be tried in a truly international court, but with the way the UN works, who knows how the verdict would go?

Re:What country's holding Dotcom's funds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609723)

IANAL, and I don't really even have a clue, but I don't think there are any mechanisms in place that would allow something like that to even begin. Is there a way for a foreign government to bring suit against against a citizen of another country who is living in that country?

I mean, if I piss off England...how would they go about suing me in US court, or state courts?

Not to mention bringing me up on criminal charges, here in the US. Do our judges put on the fancy wigs to make the British extra-district attorney feel at home?

Re:What country's holding Dotcom's funds? (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40609339)

Sadly there is nothing not under the USSA's tyrannical jurisdiction with the exception of countries such as North Korea. Even "safe" jurisdictions such as Switzerland have treaties with the US government.

More like Kim Dot-Scum (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609209)

He is a convicted felon, thief, and con artist. Not someone to admire.

Re:More like Kim Dot-Scum (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609265)

"He is a convicted felon, thief, and con artist. Not someone to admire."

And who the fuck are YOU, buddy ?

A nobody, that's who. You always have been and always will be.

So why don't you go back to sucking cock, the one thing that you do well.

Re:More like Kim Dot-Scum (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40609359)

So what? He provided a good service to millions. A company has very little to do with the personality of the creators. A good product is a good product even if it was created by someone you wouldn't admire.

Re:More like Kim Dot-Scum (5, Interesting)

djlowe (41723) | about 2 years ago | (#40609499)

He is a convicted felon, thief, and con artist. Not someone to admire.

Who said anything about admiring him? Even if your assessment is true, he's still entitled to due process under US law, by definition, from "Yick Wo v. Hopkins", 1886, as quoted in

http://open.salon.com/blog/scottstarr/2010/03/20/despite_recent_demagoguery_non-citizens_also_have_constitut

Most relevant part quoted here:

The fourteenth amendment to the constitution is not confined to the protection of citizens. It says: âNor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.â(TM) These provisions are universal in their application, to all persons within the territorial jurisdiction, without regard to any differences of race, of color, or of nationality; and the equal protection of the laws is a pledge of the protection of equal laws⦠The questions we have to consider and decide in these cases, therefore, are to be treated as involving the rights of every citizen of the United States equally with those of the strangers and aliens who now invoke the jurisdiction of the court.â

The truth of the matter is, this is actually the best approach he could take, and one that he SHOULD take. By US law, his assets MUST be unfrozen at this point, because he has yet to be found guilty of any crime by due process of US law.

The real question is: Will the US Federal Government actually OBEY their own laws as interpreted by SCOTUS?

Somehow, I doubt it. There's too much money at stake, potentially, and there's no way that our Facist Overlords in the US are ever going to permit this: Crippling him by freezing his accounts worldwide, regardless of due process, gives them leverage, and there's NO way that they'll give up that advantage without a huge fight.

Look for the US Federal Government to try to turn this into a RICO case, to keep his assets frozen, by arguing that this is a case of "organized crime", in response to this.

You heard it here first.

Cynically,

dj br

Christ Germans are fat (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609233)

Even worse than Americans.

If they have no case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609269)

Why not let it play out? Why offer yourself to them when you know they won't follow the law anyway?

Oh right... cause all Kim ever cared about was being a rich douchebag and flaunting it in everyone's face.

I am no fan of our government actions of late(ie 10+ years now) and certainly it appears they overstepped their bounds in this case. But somehow, I just can't get all worked up about Kim. If only for his previous violations he deserves to lose it all. It's all built on fraud. And he's an epic douche.

Re:If they have no case... (2)

sgrover (1167171) | about 2 years ago | (#40609329)

when the big boys come at you with everything they have... with all their rules and procedures they insist you follow... You loose if you play the game their way. Change the game and you have a chance of winning. But I agree with your sentiments re: getting worked up over Kim. Don't care or know him well enough to call him a douche though.

Re:If they have no case... (1, Flamebait)

AK Marc (707885) | about 2 years ago | (#40609577)

Don't care or know him well enough to call him a douche though.

People who come up with a simple idea and make millions/billions off it are often "hated". Whether it's Facebook, or buying DOS from IBM and selling it back to them at a profit, or hosting a sharing site, if you make it big with an easy thing that anyone could do, they'll hate you because you did it and not them. He's apparently not a douche in person, though he understands the rules and chooses to break them, which pisses off many, to no end.

This isn't good versus evil (5, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#40609273)

It's a bunch of fat worthless leeches trying to kill a tick that's fastened on to them

There's no good guy here, it's just parasites vying to see who has the biggest stomach. If only there's a way that they can all lose.

Re:This isn't good versus evil (5, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | about 2 years ago | (#40609353)

Yeah, but if Kim Dotcom loses, a lot of legitimate data whom the copyright holders themselves uploaded to the service (including files the U.S. military uploaded) gets lost as well.

They've effectively thrown the baby out with the bathwater. And I imagine they've pissed off more people domestic and international than they can imagine. This is exactly the kind of behavior we've all come to expect from decades of granting the federal government ever-increasing powers to control and limit the freedoms of the individual, whether these are U.S. citizens or not. It is also only the beginning of what's to come if we as a people don't make a stand.

Re:This isn't good versus evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609693)

Yeah, but if Kim Dotcom loses, a lot of legitimate data whom the copyright holders themselves uploaded to the service (including files the U.S. military uploaded) gets lost as well...

Legitimate copyright holders I can have some level of compassion for, but the US Military? Are you fucking kidding me? How many billions of taxpayer dollars have gone towards building their own goddamn infrastructure in order to NOT rely on civilian providers?

Here's two words taxpayers rarely get to tell the Government...

Tough Shit.

Re:This isn't good versus evil (2)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#40609703)

If they uploaded to a site like that and threw away their only backup they're idiots.

Re:This isn't good versus evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609735)

...a lot of legitimate data whom the copyright holders themselves uploaded to the service (including files the U.S. military uploaded) gets lost as well.

[citation needed]

Re:This isn't good versus evil (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | about 2 years ago | (#40609425)

Mod parent up.

Re:This isn't good versus evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609587)

Actually, there is good and evil in this case - disregard the involved individuals, and instead look at the which institutions actually did or did not obey both the letter and the spirit of the law(s).

mod 3o3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609449)

contaminated while already 3ead. It is one or the other Join GNNA (GAY *BSD but FreeBSD

What A Big Middle Finger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40609489)

to the US of A, and their true masters. Tap out now, apologize, and keep out. And as a Canadian, gtfo with that ACTA EU bullshit you're trying to sneak in. Kim should arrive and use some of his millions to throw a parade up to the courthouse, and just swagger there in style. I'm thinking Tim Burton's Batman Joker poison gas parade kind of parade, only instead of deadly gas, he just streams that scene from the movie from his megavideo on giant inflatable copyrighted parade floats.

Public Perception of Kim Dotcom (1)

enter to exit (1049190) | about 2 years ago | (#40609495)

It's been interesting to see the public perception of Kim Dotcom morph from "evil bastard who got his comeuppance" to "cult hero and victim".

He would have had to be an idiot to an unbelievable level not to have known that his mega* services were for the most part being used for piracy. On the other hand the mega* could have been used for legitimate purposes as well and they did provided a mechanism for entities to declare infringement and have the offending files removed. It seems like he has following the law to the letter and nothing more (which is all we can ask).

The next question is: Did he do anything he shouldn't have? He provided storage for files in exchange for advertising. It's previously been ruled that a service provider is not responsible for the content users store, until they have been given proper notice of illegal activity in which case they must act appropriately.

However this pans out it's going to be precedent setting.

Pointless from the FBI/Cartel POV (1)

strikethree (811449) | about 2 years ago | (#40609593)

Ummm, why would they (FBI and media cartels) agree to this? The punishment of frozen assets is much better than risking not being able to punish at all.

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